The Mustangs just couldn’t miss.
Attempt after attempt from behind the 3-point line, the shots just seemed to fall. And basket after basket, there was only one word to describe the performance when it was all said and done.
The Cal Poly basketball men’s basketball team tied the NCAA Division I record for consecutive 3-point field goals without a miss after nailing 11 straight from long range, and the Mustangs used hot shooting in both halves to down Cal State Northridge 100-54 on Saturday in Mott Gym in a Big West Conference game.
“I always thought that if we were going to be etched in the record book, it would be something defensively,” Cal Poly head coach Joe Callero said. “So, for those who say Cal Poly is just too defensive oriented, we’ve tied an NCAA record for 3-point shooting. Now I guess we can get the monkeys off our back.”
The performance ties the record both Niagara and Eastern Kentucky set in 1987. However, it’s not the only time a Cal Poly basketball team has done so. The Cal Poly women’s basketball team hit the same number of 3-pointers (11) to tie the same Division I women’s record in a victory over Pacific in February 2010.
Regardless, Callero and his team are happy with being etched in the record books.
“I think what it does show is that our team is coachable,” Callero said. “They are willing to look at both sides of the ball and I think our coaching staff is developing the sense that we can be a great defensive team, hold teams to under 60 on a regular basis and also improve on the offensive end.”
The Mustangs (12-8, 3-4 Big West), however, were one step shy of breaking the record. Amaurys Fermin pulled up for what would have been the team’s 12th consecutive 3-pointer early in the second half, only to have it bounce off the iron.
That was the Mustangs’ first miss from deep in the game. They were 11 for 11 from behind the 3-point line in the first half and shot 67.9 percent from the floor to take a 57-24 lead into the break.
It was an all too familiar situation for Cal Poly, though. With the Mustangs shooting 76.2 percent from the field against Long Beach State on Thursday, Cal Poly watched what was a 39-32 halftime lead morph into a 78-69 loss.
The Mustangs were intent on not letting that happen again.
“We just knew going into halftime it was time to step on the gas, we couldn’t let up,” said Chris Eversley, who scored a career-high 19 points. “They are talented, and they can score the basketball.”
The Mustangs didn’t let up, scoring 43 second-half points to complete the largest margin of victory under Callero’s tenure. The Mustangs also eclipsed the century mark for the first time since Feb. 20, 2010, when the Mustangs defeated Hawaii, 102-89, in an ESPN BracketBuster game.
“I felt like tonight we had a hole in one,” Callero said. “What I liked most in the game is that we scored 43 in the second half.
“We were fully prepared for a team that was going to come rushing at us.”
The Mustangs finished the game shooting 60.7 percent from the field, and posted a program record 71.4 3-point field goal percentage (on 15 of 21 shooting).
Records, however, didn’t cross the Mustangs’ mind while they were on the court against the Matadors (5-12, 2-5). Rather, guys like Kyle Odister — who finished with 14 points — wanted to keep it simple.
“Really, I just kept shooting, I didn’t think about it,” Odister said. “When you think about it, that’s when you mess up. Everybody just kept playing their game.
“It’s a good feeling.”